Background: Protein-energy malnutrition is an important problem for hemodialysis patients due to decreased quality of life, increased hospitalization, and mortality. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of nutritional supplement programs on the malnutrition and biochemical indicators of patients undergoing hemodialysis.
Methods: In this Randomized Controlled Trial study, 66 patients undergoing hemodialysis were allocated to three groups according to the random allocation methods. Groups A and B received nutritional supplements IsoWhey protein powder (one cup or 24 grams’ powder) and BCAA Muscle Guard Tablet (6 tablets per day: 2 tablets every 8 hours), respectively, along with a schedule of nutrition counseling, nephrology visits, and telephone follow-up for two months. The control group (group C) received a routine diet without supplementation. Biochemical indicators (Hemoglobin, BUN before and after dialysis, creatinine, cholesterol, triglyceride, TIBC, total protein, albumin, ferritin) were measured for all three groups before, one and two months after the intervention, and nutritional status based on SGA was assessed before and after the intervention.
Results: Before the intervention, three groups were homogeneous in demographic variables, biochemical indicators, and nutritional status (P>0.05). But, after the intervention, there was a statistically significant difference between groups in means of TIBC, total protein, and albumin (P<0.05). Also, nutritional status significantly differed in groups after intervention (P=0.02). The two intervention groups achieved a better nutritional status after two months of taking the dietary supplement (P=0.008). But in the control group, there was no significant difference in nutritional status before and after the study (P<0.05).
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, it could be suggested that the use of nutritional supplements under the supervision of a nutritionist, along with patient education and consistent nutritional assessment, is suggested to improve the nutritional status of patients undergoing hemodialysis.